DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Several businesses lost everything after an early morning fire. It happened on North Water Street, near East Eldorado. There was a coffee shop, record store and tattoo shop.
Crews say high flames made the fire tough to beat. Crews were in a ten-hour fight Monday to keep three businesses from burning to the ground. They lost the battle.
“We discovered the fire at the rear of the building and it was an advanced fire already.”
River Coffee Company, Speakeasy Records and Oddities and Tried and True Tattoo erupted in flames.
“We tried to make entry. Couldn’t make entry and fought some water issues.”
The building couldn’t be saved, but they were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby businesses. While no one was physically hurt, it was a different story emotionally.
“Heartsick. When I was driving by and I was seeing the firetrucks and seeing this, I’m just broken-hearted.”
Wade Ripple had his artwork inside.
“The vast majority of my work was hanging up there like some of the best pieces that I’ve made. It hurts, kind of. It’s sad, but it’s kind of motivating to make more stuff because I don’t have anything to show of what I’ve made.”
Now, Ripple’s art and a company’s legacy lay in ashes.
“The history of Decatur. Now it’s gone and it just breaks my heart.”
The building is a complete loss. The cause is still under investigation.